TikTok users in the UK can get four MONTHS of free Spotify Premium


Founded as a small start-up firm just 14 years ago, Spotify has quickly risen to take the music world by storm. From its humble beginnings, the music streaming service, which boasts a library of 60million songs, now has a staggering 320million monthly active users and is worth an estimated $23billion.

The meteoric rise began in Stockholm, Sweden, in 2006. The company was co-founded by Daniel Ek, the former boss of popular fashion-based browser game Stardoll, and Martin Lorentzon, co-founder of digital marketing firm Tradedoubler.

The small start-up was set up as a response to the growing piracy problem the music industry was facing. It launched two years later with a free registration service for users to stream music via the internet.

This model allowed users a freemium service – allowing users to listen for free with adverts – or a paid subscription service.

It set Spotify aside from the rival Apple’s iTunes store, from which users bought digital copies of songs or albums to build their own library which they could listen to whenever they liked.

By 2009, the company had reached the UK. Its popularity surged after the release of its mobile service.

The meteoric rise began in Stockholm, Sweden in 2006, when the company was co-founded by Daniel Ek, the former boss of popular fashion-based browser game Stardoll, and Martin Lorentzon, co-founder of digital marketing firm Tradedoubler

The meteoric rise began in Stockholm, Sweden in 2006, when the company was co-founded by Daniel Ek, the former boss of popular fashion-based browser game Stardoll, and Martin Lorentzon, co-founder of digital marketing firm Tradedoubler

By March 2011, five years after it was founded and three years after its launch, Spotify had one million paying subscribers across Europe. Within six months, that number had doubled.

In the same year, Spotify launched in the US, again to great success. By 2012, the streaming service had 15million active users, four million being paying Spotify subscribers.

And subscription figures continued to grow and grow and grow, more than doubling by 2014. By 2016 it had 40million paying subscribers and 100million total users and as of October 2020, the platform has 320million monthly users, including 144 million paying subscribers. 

But despite its meteoric growth, the company, which has an annual revenue of £6billion, has historically struggled to produce profits.

It has also faced criticism from those in the music industry, including Taylor Swift, who have argued that the service does not compensate musicians fairly. The company distributes approximately 70 per cent of its total revenue to rights holders, mostly record labels, who then pay artists based on individual agreements.

In a bid to drive its profits into the green, the owners of Spotify, Spotify AB, was floated on the New York Stock Exchange as a publicly traded company in 2018.

The move came after the company made losses of nearly £870m over the previous three years.

Despite being floated publicly, Spotify did not issue new stock when being floated in 2018, instead selling shares that were held by its private investors. The aim of the scheme was to raise investment for its expansion plans.  

In 2019 the $23billion company posted an operating profit of $60million – only the third time in its history it had posted a profit. 

Despite past losses, the company has continued to make big money deals, and has lately pushed into increasingly in the area of podcasts.

It is not known how much the Spotify contract is worth, but the streaming service agreed a £75m ($100m) deal with US comedian Joe Rogan in May. 

Last year, Michelle Obama launched The Michelle Obama Podcast for an undisclosed fee and had her husband on as one of her first guests.



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Written by bourbiza

bourbiza is an entertainment reporter for iltuoiphone News and is based in Los Angeles.

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